Tuesday, 31 January 2017
Semester Two starts today. So far I have two results back from my first four Masters papers and they are distinctions, one of which will be published as my first academic paper. I can’t tell you have chuffed I am. Honestly, I thought I wasn’t clever enough to pass let alone get the grades I have achieved. With the early success, comes the pressure to keep it up so I may have shot myself in the foot… no, it just means I have to keep working hard which is what I do every day.
Sadly, the issue of racism has raised its ugly head along with the feeling that we are living through the 1930s again experiencing the stuff we read about in our history lessons. Let’s hope people power prevails and we do not end with the same disastrous result. It is down to us all of us decent folk to stop it in its tracks and I hope everyone reading this is with me. If not, leave now. My greatest hates are discrimination and prejudice… as well as injustice.
I have always said to the boys… put yourself in that person’s shoes before you make a judgment on their lives. Iraq, Libya and Syria invasions were “justified” by the West as a means to let democracy prevail. I wonder what many American or Brits would say if our countries were invaded on the basis of restoring democracy – let’s face it… neither of our Governments are listening. What you need to remember is one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Thatcher supported Apartheid and called my hero, Nelson Mandela a terrorist. History tells us otherwise!
I do not in anyway condone violence, by the way. I very much believe in diplomacy - before anyone tries to portray me as a terrorist sympathiser... oh wait... Cameron did that already!
This week has been so depressing on the news front. I have found solace in the Barenaked Ladies, Bob Marley and John Lennon.
Wes starts politics in his Semester two and all I will say is, they really will not know what has hit them! To criticise something, you have to understand it and boy does he know fascism! The best thing of all… he has educated himself with little input from me.
I have more in common with a Syrian Mum trying to keep her children safe than I do with the Prime Minister of my country. We all have our battles but I cannot imagine the pain and suffering war has inflicted on millions of people. We do need a new world order but not of intolerance and greed. We need peacemakers, diplomats and people in power who care about peoples’ lives. I watch our Government and see people who want to play silly games while children live in poverty or disabled are mistreated. There is another way – a new order and it is up to each and every one of us to exercise our democratic rights – not just putting a cross on a paper!
The future has become even more uncertain for all of us. Let us shape it the right way… please for the sake of our children and their children.
Well I'm off to start research for my next subjects - green computing technologies and strategies, critical perspective of information and my main dissertation. My kind of sanctuary!
Friday, 20 January 2017
I cannot believe it was the last day of 2016 when I last wrote a blog post. We only have ten days left of January 2017. It's been a whirlwind start of the year for us but a very happy one.
I did not get Arts Council funding I applied for to help me to continue to develop my career. I was disappointed but not surprised. It was a tall order applying but if you don't ask…the answer is always no. Anything worth having, is worth fighting for and as I've spent my whole life fighting, I'll keep going. Nothing will stop me from achieving my aims.
In the first two weeks of January, I had to complete three Master's papers, two presentations and two exams! I can only say it was blooming tough – first understatement of the year! There were days when I wanted to quit – I felt overwhelmed and out of my depth, totally out of my comfort zone. Thankfully, I have amazingly supportive and strong children who drove me and encouraged me to keep going. I love our mutual support… and how they are not afraid to say it how it is!
I did it. I got it all done and on time. I now have to wait for the results but received a distinction (75%+) for one presentation. Bring on semester 2 – nothing worth having is easy to come by. One thing I did realise when I was knee deep in books and research notes was, how much I love reading, researching and writing. It does not matter whether it is academic writing, this blog or fiction, I know I was born to do this. I am truly inspired and at my happiest writing. I think it’s a combination of the new knowledge and seeing the transformation of a blank page into a decent piece of work. I hope this makes sense and I don't sound like a total crank… partial I can live with!
Since my last presentation on the 16th (four days ago,), I have sorted the house out, cleared the outstanding jobs on my "To Do" list, continued with my screenwriting and caught up on some movie watching. I can highly recommend Anthropoid – Cillian Murphy is as outstanding as ever.
I hope I've shown the boys, hard work pays off and never give up even if you want to! Keep the goal and aims always in sight.
The agonising wait to hear whether this will make it into production goes on. The feedback has been amazing and I think it is an accomplished piece of work for my first script… but then I would say that… although twelve months ago, I would not have had the confidence of self- belief to say it!
Beyond the Past
Have you had the chance to read it yet? Would you like to review it for me?
Read the first three chapters FREE on my website
Or you can order from your local bookshop. The ISBN number is : 978-1-84386-789-0
I'm about a page and a half from completing the re-write. I've learned to do things my way! I won't be pressured into writing something I don't believe in.
This means so much to me. For over twenty years, I've been fascinated with the struggles in Ireland ever since reading about the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six. Watch this space…
You may have gathered I have an active imagination and an active mind. I love research – starting with an idea and seeing how far it can be taken. During one of my Master's papers, I was reading Hansard (official transcripts for the Houses of Parliament) to research failed IT projects within the National Health Service. I came across a debate relating to tax charges and the Wesleyan church dating back to the 1600s. How cool is that? I know…I'm a geek and easily distracted but it's amazing where knowledge can take you.
I never imagined my life to be as it is today. In all honesty, despite the financial struggle, life is much better than I imagined and anticipated. The boys are happy, grounded and don't buy into the 'designer', 'materialistic' world. I worry they are missing out but they remind me every day their lives are good – happy, healthy and peaceful. What more do you really need?
Today… the television is OFF in protest at a bigoted, ignorant man being inaugurated as the US President. We must NEVER, EVER accept racism, misogyny and lies. Only time will tell the extent of the latter but I could never support someone who attacks a fellow human being because they are black, Mexican, gay, disabled, transgender or a woman! We are ALL human beings of equal standing.
I will continue to fight for equality and against injustice. Love trumps hate!!
On that note… I am off to write. Enjoy your weekend and please, radiate LOVE and HOPE.